User Reviews (16)

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  • Moth878 October 2006
    First of all I'd like to start by saying it's a refreshing start to see a British Drama that finally looks and feels believable.

    Patrick Stewart does the role justice as (Ian Hood), the government Science adviser, with his constant and unwavering views on authority and thoughts about the future of "real world" science and how he feels It's either being used or abused by others.

    Not only is the casting thoroughly maintained all the way throughout the Series, but it makes it's characters seem more believable than most other British Drama's.

    Ashley Jensen also delivers a first rate performance as Dr. Hood's Appointed bodyguard (Rachael Young), she brings a refreshing take on the unscientific, Uninterested everyday views of science, and her constant battling with Hood makes for some very funny and memorable moments between them.

    The way the series keeps all the scientific elements more realistic I Find positive and more engaging than the psychobabble we are so used to in other Fiction or Science Fiction TV shows.

    There are however notable disappointments with the series, every time an Episode ends I find myself disappointed that they didn't seem to cover all aspects of the plot and sometimes leaving open-ended stories unclosed.

    Although bearing in mind that this is still the first series, I hope that we see a return to form in the near future where these open ended stories can finally be given a significant conclusion they so rightly deserve.

    For those who enjoy more slow paced science related plot lines, this is the ideal show to watch as it always manages to stay believable and more Importantly to the point.
  • Watched the first episode tonight.

    Patrick Stewart brings the gravitas and presence that he brings to all his roles (on stage and screen). The first storyline is interesting and well developed, as well as asking some interesting questions about the morality issues involved (many Americans will hate part of this programme).

    I think this show will run well, as long as it keeps interesting story lines and brings forward one or two strong support characters.

    I suspect this show will even get picked up in the States (which means the Yanks will get to see the British version of White Trash...we have them too!!).

    Good job to the production team, and you'll be pleased to know this is the first original show I've watched on ITV in about 4-5 years, keep em coming.
  • STAR RATING: ***** The Works **** Just Misses the Mark *** That Little Bit In Between ** Lagging Behind * The Pits

    Patrick Stewart plays Ian Hood, a government scientist and top man who really gets a good glimpse at what those with power and knowledge get up to behind our backs. Each week, an episode deals with a scenario (e.g. cloning, miracle cures, virus outbreaks) where he must battle against the odds to give the public the protection they deserve.

    Although he never really broke through the ranks as a top Hollywood star, Stewart does indeed remain one of the most notable actors we've ever produced and it is good to see him back on our screens. And indeed, he's well cast in this series, in fact it's almost as if the role was especially written for him.

    Basically, this is one of those shows which will enthrall some and really put some others off. It's one for those who like to sit down, pay attention to everything that's going on and really enjoy the rewards that pay off from using your brain. It's one of those roles Stewart likes to accept, and fans of his work will easily warm to him in it. Others might find it all a bit too serious and brainy. There are attempts at humour here and there, but they're rather fluttered and not really played out that greatly.

    Another problem I had with the show was the lighting and use of camera. The lighting is a little too grainy and the camera is too much of a close up shot throughout and this did detract from my enjoyment of it.

    So, if you see any episodes, you should know what to expect. If you do, you'll probably enjoy it, if you don't, you probably didn't have much business seeing it to begin with. ***
  • I've just seen a couple of Episodes of "Eleventh Hour", but I must say that they were enough to impress me. This series is just so impressive and interesting... I'm definitely going to follow it.

    First of all, I must say that the acting is top-notch. Patrick Stewart plays his character - Ian the scientist - believably and coolly, and he makes the audience believe in the character. Other characters, such as Rachel, are also believable, and, although they sometimes are a little cold - due to the way the series is filmed - they're interesting.

    The stories told by this series are also interesting. For example, one of the episodes I saw was about cloning, and a man who was trying to clone humans. The way the Episode was developed, and how Ian - Stewart - kept following clues and saving people was amazing. In addition, it made you think about ethics and how good or bad could this be.

    Anyway, I think this is one good TV shows. I just hope it keeps going on like this - interesting, thought-provoking and with good acting. Even though it's filmed in a kind of cold way - little lightning, cold photography, lots of close-ups - it never stops being interesting. Highly recommendable.
  • I found the episodes to be fascinating and well written. As a TV show, it was entertaining which is what I expect from fictional entertainment. I like the "relationship" between the Professor and his female Security Guard ... although sometimes her Scottish accent makes it a bit difficult to understand what she is saying. I was hoping that there would be more than just four episodes. I recognize that one commenter/reviewer of this series had comments relating to his opinion as a physician. I understand this gentleman's comments; however, this is a fictional television series which is meant to entertain ... not present precise facts like a documentary. Patrick Stewart performs well and makes his character believable. If you want to watch a documentary, then this is not the series for you. But if you want to watch unique scientific-based theories in an entertainment-based medium, then you will enjoy the four episodes.
  • Is Ian Hood the 21st Century Professor Quatermass ?

    I'm actually enjoying the series, as a sci-fi fan. After years of being subjected to British broadcasters being more concerned with producing period dramas, and endless detective shows - it's good to see some sci-fi back on the screen. And I for one think it's pretty well written, and of course the presence that Patrick Stewart brings, adds to the appeal.

    Am I right in thinking that only 4 episodes have been made in this season ? I hope it's done well enough to given a shot at a 2nd season, with Stewart on board for that too.
  • sarahdav-128 March 2009
    Forget some the whiny (and pointless) comments left here by some. This series is well acted, well shot, and makes a refreshing change to most of the pap on TV.

    Any fool can nitpick anything. However, in this show the characters are believable, the story lines intriguing and compelling (but do require some intelligence on the part of the viewer), overall it's enjoyable, and it's British !! (We do occasionally come up with some gems, and this is one of them).

    The shows are an hour long each and i think there are four of them all together (at least I've only seen four of them). The show clearly impressed some U.S. TV station/director who made a longer series which was nowhere near as compelling in spite of the bigger budget.

    If like soaps and reality shows you won't like or understand Eleventh Hour.
  • I must say, I am somewhat surprised that my favourite PS has allowed such an "arty" medium to be applied to a not very apparent replacement for the highly respected Morse detective series. The characters although new, remain totally impersonal and I really do not want long shots of many more car-washes, camera moves around cars with just a few words spoken,shots of railings with darkened views of walking main cast. Make this a proper sleuth show asap! gimme clues, gimme insider info on the characters, gimme some more anger/emotion, and gimme a hard hitting next episode that brings me back for more!. I know new shows need time to develop, to mellow the characters and give them time to make them their own, but this appears stunted, strained and cold with minimal vocabulary to give me the viewer and a fan of the more intelligent detective shows, much to hold on to other than modern but not altogether interesting camera work...come on Patrick, inject some pizazz!!!!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I found the first episode less impressive than I had hoped. Patrick Stewart was nowhere near even his ST:TNG form, much less the stage presence we know he is capable of. It felt a bit weak, not quite "phoned in", but unenthusiastic.

    I was really bothered though by the lack of sophistication in the thinking behind the scientific issues involved. After all this is a show about a "government scientist" (who introduces himself as "Alan Hood, Scientist"--which I find hard to imagine coming out of any scientist's mouth: is he a physicist, a bioethicist, biohazard specialist, geneticist, medical experimenter, or what? Am I too picky here? It just didn't ring true...) Episode one was a drama about illegal human cloning, with the police refusing to take an interest because "there's no murder here". (If Hood has no authority, then in what sense does he "work for the government"?) At no point was it clearly expressed what was actually wrong with the human cloning that was going on. (Stewart rolled his eyes and bellowed that it was "repugnant", "abhorrent", and such things, but at no point explained why.) OK, it was self-evident that the exploitation of young surrogate mothers was wrong, but this was not a drama about exploitation--although it handled the issue well. I would have liked to see more medical ethics covered, after all it is a serious issue and the only way to keep such matters from being judged by the "morality of repugnance" is to educate the public as to some of the issues involved.

    But as I say this is only the first episode. I'll watch a few more and see if other issues are better handled. This sort of show often takes a few hours to grow into itself, so I remain hopeful.
  • This flashy po-faced hokum has clearly been built to milk the appeal of Sir Patrick Stewart to the bobble-hat brigade, and it's not as terrifyingly bad as some of writer Stephen Gallagher's other work. But why-oh-why-oh-why hasn't anybody flagged the significant debt to other and - in my nostalgia-loaded opinion - better series?

    It obviously re-treads ground covered in the equally watchable but improbable perils-of-science 1970s BBC melodrama "Doomwatch" - created by Doctor Who writers and Cybermen creators Kit Peddler and Gerry Davis.

    "Eleventh hour" writer Stephen Gallagher is also a former Doctor Who writer. What, then, do you think inspired the format of a slightly unworldly trouble-shooting "Government Scientific Adviser" with a younger and slightly feisty but unthreatening girl "companion"?

    There's a certain amount to enjoy here, not least Jean Luc Picard trying to pretend he's not posh, as he flattens all his vowels and clearly has to be restrained from saying things like "Ay-up", "By 'eck", and "Ah grew oop round ear". That he's supposed to be a boffin is probably funnier, as in last week's episode which had him talking about quantum probability and Chaos theory to a Government accountant before charging off to put down a virus pandemic.

    That girl from "Extras" as his sidekick also gets to wave a gun and run down endless stairs in Lycra tops without the benefit of a sports bra, which may offer younger male viewers some light relief.

    Despite the slick presentation and casting coup, this isn't ever going to be great and memorable TV. The man who gave us budget-shy early nineties genetic engineering scare-fest "Chimera" (aka "Monkey Boy" - the clue's in the title) and international drugs corporation paranoia in "Oktober" is clearly going to carry on grinding out un-taxing soft-target science-gone-wrong potboilers. The only real social issue in the second story about a killer virus loose in England's Manchester, was the obvious question, "Well, would they really bother?"
  • How on earth can you have such fantastic actors in such a miserable creation? This is one of the most stylized pieces of rubbish I have seen in a long time. Not only is it poorly written, it is a product of shoddy direction and editing. The cinematography is so horribly manipulative and unoriginal and the montage jumbled beyond belief. The actual ideas behind the plots (cloning, toxic waste, climate change) are all fine to begin with but where the production/direction team takes them is a big cesspool of filth, the likes of which are seen in one episode. And this is a Scientific series? I am a physician and all I can say is that the science in this film is utter crap, almost embarrassing to watch. I really felt bad for the actors involved since they were all extraordinary.
  • mobelec21 January 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    yeah regarding the first episode, it was interesting to watch but was spoilt by two script flaws. Firstly after discovering the address of the lab, you would expect them to stake out the lab to catch the criminals, nooo... they just brake in to the empty lab, then the crim sees them and escapes,... sure likely !! Secondly, after the girl absconds from hospital they seem to have no way to find out where the girl lives. I mean, an ambulance just collected her from her home for goodness sake. Either the script writer is dumb :) , or he thinks the audience are. Just obvious mistakes that spoil the believability of the program.

    my 2p
  • innocuous7 April 2012
    4/10
    Yuck.
    This series is a huge miss. Between the abysmal direction and the lousy writing, I'm surprised that Stewart was able to put anything into his role. I have to admit that "Eleventh Hour" doesn't resort to the ridiculous, semi-supernatural plot lines that characterize "Fringe," but it sins in the other direction: it is boring and superficial. In a typical scene, Stewart demonstrates the fact that he can't predict what his department's budget will be by tossing papers in the air to land randomly. He uses grapes to demonstrate (?) how cloning is accomplished. Later, he gives us a history lesson by explaining how Edward Jenner developed inoculation against smallpox. All of this is done on a third-grade level, like an after-school special or "Sesame Street."

    When you add to this his incomprehensible status as the "science adviser" to some government group (with oddly undefined powers and authority) and the fact that apparently there's nobody else in the health services who is capable of conducting an investigation, you get a lot of eye-rolling and sighs.

    If you're a big Stewart fan, you might give this a look. Otherwise, stay away.
  • I call this a Science Thriller rather than Science Fiction because to call it Sci-Fi immediately puts you into the expectation game for Fast Pace, Zap, Boom, Fantastic. . .

    Even further-- remember that this is British in flavor-- and NOT of the 'Torchwood/Dr Who' variety. Think more like Masterpiece Theatre with just a little bit of 'hustle'.

    A Gov't Scientist and his security minder go about tracking down culprits in outré crimes and disasters in working class England. The show touches on concepts that are theoretical, or bleeding edge-- like the Cloning episode-- but it does so by approaching the concepts in the process of unraveling crimes.

    If you settle down to the fact that this is more a Crime Thriller rather than an Action Thriller, you will not be bothered by the non-Hollywood aspects. The scenes are not bright and glossy with lots of glass skyscrapers and busy streets. No Car chases. No running through the streets. No swat teams kicking down doors with laser gun-sights.

    It's plain, gritty, moody, rumpled, surly & workaday in the way it presents the story. And the final difference is the fact that the endings are not tidily wrapped up. But then neither is Life. . .

    I wouldn't say that the acting on Pat Stewart's part is his best-- I've only ever seen him in Star Trek, (and frankly found his Picard Character 'annoying') So this is a new way of seeing him for a lot people. But the rest of the cast, having no precedents in the American/Hollywood, are spot on with good honest, believable characters. This isn't the Glamorized England of Dr Who or Primeval. You get a sense that this is closer to the 'Real England'.

    My one quibble is an overall grimness that makes it take to watch all in one sitting. But maybe that's my American/Hollywood trained Bias.

    Still, it's interesting, thoughtful drama for a rainy weekend afternoon.
  • patrick-94928 August 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    If I was British, I would be embarrassed by this portrayal of incompetence. A protection agent of the Special Branch unable to defend herself against a sick, unarmed and untrained assailant? The Home Office sends a single "Science Adviser" to investigate a possible Level Four biohazard, and that "Advisor" doesn't have the sense to wear even a mask and gloves? Totally unprotected London police officers working side by side with technicians in full biohazard suits? The "Advisor" and his bodyguard bearding the lair of a sociopathic doctor experimenting on human subjects without any backup? Puh-leeze! One wonders whether the producers could not afford to hire any technical advisers or if, for some arcane reason, they consciously decided to portray the principals as hopelessly incompetent. Even my wife, who has no background in either medicine or law enforcement, was rolling her eyes in disbelief. After the first episode, I was discouraged; now that I have seen two episodes, I give up.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Just after watching the first one and it is very dumb. I happened to watch an episode of Bones first and then the Eleventh Hour. The 11th Hour should be embarrassed.

    It is so weak. Stewart introduces himself as a Government Scientist. No mention of what kind of scientist just general sciency stuff. In a program about cloning they bring a caretaker, who was paid to dispose unsuccessful embryos, to a church and made him kneel before the statue of Jesus on the cross and ask forgiveness... and as well tell them where the bad guy is so as they can move the plot on. Now thats science at work :(

    There is a dumb, not good dumb, bit where Picard rages at a TV that advertises skin scream that makes you look younger, shouting "It's a lie", as his randy female assistant gets groped by the local hot bobbie next door.

    The end of the first episode is like a bad cartoon where the bad old lady, named after Pinnochios daddy in order to move the clunky plot along, waves at Picard from the street as she gets in a taxi. Picard is one floor up and he looks out a window wistfully going... she got away. He could like try to run down.. or maybe ring the cops... or maybe get the number of the taxi and ring it in or maybe had anything other than... I am waving and getting into a taxi now and there is nothing you can do about it until next week ending... mahhahahahah.

    Pity it's so stupid. At one point a grieving father is convinced by Picard that even if a replica clone son was born it would never be his son as his son had a soul. Yes that's right folks. The general scientist argues against cloning on the basis that every soul is unique and sure why else would you want to clone.

    Although the general scientist Picard finds cloning a bit gooey he's all up for stem cell research and goes as far as to say that calamity will befall humanity if it isn't allowed. He has a pretty strident rant about how important it is. Of course he doesn't mention a single example. That kind of sums up the show. Buzz words and tawdriness.